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By SITERI SAUVAKACOLO
Promoting, preserving and protecting Melanesian arts, customs, cultures and traditions is one of the key areas that has been looked into by the Melanesian leaders who are part of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
This follows the signing by Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) ministers of culture on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide the framework for cultural exchange and technical assistance among MSG members.
In signing the MoU, Minister for Education, National Heritage, Arts and Culture, and chair of the MSG Ministers of Arts and Culture Meeting (MCAM), Filipe Bole, said the pact would formalise the existing and ongoing cultural exchanges and co-operation among Melanesian countries.
“Cultural co-operation is an integral part of the solidarity networks in Melanesia through centuries of travelling and exchanges of ceremonial gifts. These include assistance in community works like house building and the preparation of cultural and customary ceremonies that link Melanesian people,” Mr Bole said.
He said the MoU recognised the importance of cultural co-operation and capacity building within MSG countries.
He said members should protect, promote and preserve Melanesian arts, customs, cultures and traditions to enhance cultural development in the region.